Safety alert 10/2011 - Unloading Multi Trailer Tip Trucks

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Employee / workerEmployer

A worker sustained multiple broken bones in his right leg, dislocated right hip, a broken right arm and damage to his right hand after being run over by the first set of wheels of a dolly of a multiple trailer tip truck.

The worker was walking down the passenger side of the multiple trailer tip truck (road train) on an open grid to assist in the unloading process. He was walking through grain about 550mm deep. The grain was being held back between a concrete apron (590mm high) and the wheels of the road train.

As the road train moved forward to unload the dolly, the grain held back by the wheels quickly dissipated, causing the worker to lose his balance and fall forward. He landed on the moving grain, which drew him under the wheels of the oncoming dolly. 


Contributing factors 

  • The worker was not in a safe location before the road train was signalled to move on.
  • There was no audible warning that the road train was about to move off.
  • Workers were permitted to walk through grain alongside moving road trains.  The gap between the concrete apron and the wheels of the road train was 900mm, leaving little room for error should a worker lose his balance. 

Action required 

  • Ensure plant operators know at all times that fellow workers are in a safe position before giving signals to truck drivers to move.
  • Ensure where practical an audible sound is given to warn of trucks moving on.
  • Ensure plant operators are not on the grid in close proximity to moving trucks.
  • Ensure plant operators do not walk through grain between concrete aprons and road trains.

Further information 

This Alert contains safety information following inquires made by WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up to date and does not accept any liability to any person for the information in this report or as to its use.

Last updated 20 Apr 2016

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